Palestinian Muslim women may not refuse to engage in sexual intercourse with their husbands, as a recent religious ruling stated that it is the right of a husband to decide, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported.
The issue was raised during a discussion on whether a woman has the right to decide on her own if she wants to fast during non-obligatory fasts such as in the month of Shawwal, where a six day fast is a common custom. In Islamic culture, fasting includes the denial of sexual needs. Hence, the ruling passed was that a woman can only fast if her husband agrees to her fasting, as that would infringe upon his alleged "right" to have sexual access to her at all times.
The Mufti of the Palestinian Authority Muhammad Hussein went as far as to argue that not only can a woman cannot decide on her own whether to fast or not, but she may not deny her husband sexual relations even on Ramadan, when fasting is mandatory.
Even in a situation in which the man does not fast and the woman wishes that by preventing him sexual favors he might observe this religious duty, she may not refuse him, the Mufti said in 2012.
The Mufti did admit that such a man, who does not fast on Ramadan, must be encouraged to do so and obey Allah. Nonetheless, even such a person has complete control over the body of the woman to whom he is married, and she may never refuse him sex.